Dennis : Cast The Stone is the band with which guitarist Mark Kloeppel (Misery Index, Scour), bassist Derek Engemann (Scour, ex-Cattle Decapitation, ex-Unmerciful) and drummer Jesse Schobel (ex-Scour, Eternal Ruin, Legend) started their musical careers back in the year 2002. After the band released their debut ‘Dark Winds Descending’ in 2005 its’ members went on to make fame in various other American death metal acts and Cast The Stone more or less was put on hold. Now, thirteen years later, together with singer Andrew Huskey the band returns with a brand new EP entitled ‘Empyrean Atrophy’ and thus the project is finally resurrected again. Cast The Stone is an ode to American and Swedish death metal altogether; the American style death metal is heavily influenced by Swedish bands like At The Gates, Grave and Dismember, mixed with the epic and progressive side of Edge of Sanity or Opeth.
Opener ‘As The Dead Lie’ is a groovy track that opens slowly and changes into a midpaced D-beat punk song with epic guitar riffs. As the song progresses it builds up to a heavy climax with fast double bass drums after which the songs returns back to its’ slower beginning part. The second track ‘The Burning Horizon’ is clearly influenced by early Opeth with its’ heavy basslines, epic guitarriffs and progressive breaks. Halfway through the EP the band slows down with the atmospheric acoustic intermezzo ‘Standing In The Shadows’ before they pick up full speed again with ‘A Plague of Light’ that is heavily inspired by At The Gates and Edge of Sanity with pounding death metal rhythms and a progressive guitar solo. The title track ‘Empyrean Atrophy’ shows similarities with Grave and hence is the heaviest Cast The Stone composition on this EP. Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Katatonia, Bloodbath) was asked to produce this 6-track EP and as a result the songs are clearly spiced up with a Swedish Swanö sound. In honor of this Swedish multi-instrumentalist and influential producer Cast The Stone recorded the Infestdead track ‘Jesusatan’ to close the 26-minute EP in style.
‘Empyrean Atrophy’ is a fine piece of work of four experienced musicians from the US death metal scene and it sure wouldn’t be a punishment to hear more of Cast The Stone in the near future!